The VCAZ Advisory Board is a group of leaders/influencers within the business, political, and civic community in Arizona. They represent a diversity of political affiliation, come from different sectors of business, not-for-profit, and government, and are highly committed to the advancement of VCAZ. The Advisory Board provides their insight and expertise, offers feedback on our strategic plans and creates opportunities to influence the future of ranked choice voting in Arizona.
Art Babbott is a former member of the Flagstaff City Council and the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. Art ran as an independent for the Arizona state legislature in 2020. Art has owned and operated several businesses in Flagstaff including the Orpheum Theater and for the last 21 years, the Flagstaff Community Market. Art has a BA in Political Science and an MA in Urban Affairs.
Nicole P. Barraza
Nicole P. Barraza is originally from Nogales, Sonora and is a graduate of Salpointe Catholic High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wellesley College, and her Master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Sociolinguistics and Peninsular Literature. Prior to joining the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), Nicole was a Spanish instructor at Pima Community College. She was selected as a 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellow by the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation.
Dan Calderone is a retired entrepreneur with 20 years experience operating software companies. He was co-founder and served as CEO for both CXT Software and MobileBytes. He recently served as an advisory board member for the ASU Gammage Return to the Stage campaign which raised $500,000 to help maintain operations during the Covid shutdown. Dan is active in supporting political candidates dedicated to fair and equal opportunity for all.
Dr. Heather Carter
Dr. Heather Carter is Executive Vice President of Greater Phoenix Leadership, with a special focus on P-20 education and healthcare. Prior to this role, Dr. Carter served in the Arizona State Legislature as a Republican member of the Arizona House and Senate representing District 15 from 2011 to 2020. She has also held a variety of faculty and leadership roles with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona.
Ken Clark is a former state representative with a broad work history, highlighted by support for reforms in energy production, the environment and elections. He served in the 46th, 52nd and 53rd Arizona Legislatures, representing Central Phoenix. He sat on the Appropriations, Environment and the Elections committees. Over the years, Ken managed various campaigns related to issues such as curtailing predatory lending, advocating for human rights, promoting a fair redistricting process and fighting the influence of dark money in elections.
Sam Coppersmith is a former Member of Congress and an attorney with nearly four decades of experience in business and real estate transactional issues, with emphasis on guiding nonprofit organizations in strategic initiatives, operations, transactions, governance, and public affairs, including international relations and elections issues. Since 1995, he has practiced at the law firm he co-founded, now called Coppersmith Brockelman. Sam’s community experience includes elected office, political party office, boards and commissions on the state and local level, nonprofit board leadership, and international experience.
Ian Curtiss is the Assistant Dean for Asia at ASU. Prior to joining W. P. Carey, Ian’s career focused on global public affairs and market analysis/intelligence for companies operating in China and Mexico. Most recently, Ian led the policy and U.S. government affairs teams at the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Ian completed his Bachelor’s degrees in History and Political Science at ASU, earned a Master’s of International Relations from Peking University and has an MBA from ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business.
Eric Kramer, a retired journalist and systems engineer, was a founder of an organization which advocates for Native American voting rights and participation in the electoral process. He was one of the authors of a voting rights initiative in the 2022 election cycle. Eric is currently working with White Mountain Apaches to preserve their language through audio recordings. He lives with his wife, Carol, in a cabin near Pinetop.
Lauren Kuby, in her second term as a City of Tempe council member, is a champion of campaign finance reform. She spearheaded a dark money disclosure amendment to the City’s charter, garnering 91.44% support from the voters. For her efforts exposing the corruptive influence of money in politics, Lauren was featured in the inaugural episode of the MSNBC docuseries, "American Swamp."
Sarah was appointed to the AZ state legislature in October 2021. She is an Arizona native with a long history of dedicated community engagement. Sarah has a background in economics and commercial real estate and is a Financial Advisor. She is passionate about issues of equity and equality in our society. She is a strong advocate for public education and has been a strong voice pushing back on attacks on voting rights. She is the mother of two young sons.
Christopher Mathis is a lawyer in private practice and formerly served as director of policy and communications for the Healthcare Markets and Regulation Lab at Harvard Medical School and as a health care legislative assistant in the United States Senate. He is a Professor of Practice at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona where he focuses on health law and policy. Mr. Mathis earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois, his Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Drew Penrose lived in Tucson from 2002 until 2012, when he moved to Maryland to join the staff of FairVote. He left FairVote in 2020 to focus on parenting while consulting part time. Drew graduated from the University of Arizona in 2006 and the James E. Rogers College of Law in 2012. He has published two law review articles on ranked choice voting and one on Arizona’s Clean Elections law.
Alison Porter was a founder of Save Our Schools which defeated a state law diverting money from Arizona public schools to vouchers. Using grassroots organizing, Save Our Schools successfully referred a referendum to the voters and passed the repeal. This victory helped inspire Arizona teachers to speak out and create the Red for Ed movement. She is co-founder of Neighbors Forward AZ, organized to empower people to unite, engage in civil and volunteer activities, and link with businesses to improve the health of the community
Roberta Voss was educated at Creighton University School of Law in Omaha, NE graduating with a Juris Doctor (1994). She opened the Law Office of Roberta L. Voss in 1994. Roberta has been very active in her community in the past 35 years including: membership in Charter 100; service on the Judicial Performance Review Commission; the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Board; Arizona Homeland Security Council; and, was elected to serve in the Arizona House of Representatives between 1997 and 2003.